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2017 Artist Bios!
Bracha Adrezin A native of Maine, Bracha Adrezin left at an early age for Europe, where she joined the prestigious Mozarteum, in Salzburg, Austria, the home of Mozart. She trained under world renowned maestros at the Vienna State Opera, and developed expertise in traditional Italian Bel Canto singing. She became a specialist in the music of Puccini and Verdi. As a professional opera singer in Europe, Bracha used to perform extensively as a concert soloist for grand balls in ancient castles. For many years, Bracha has combined the secret breathing techniques of the old opera masters, with her formal training in psychology and psychotherapy, to help women release stress, and become psychologically and physically healthier. Bracha sings in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, and Italian. She also composes her own music and is available for workshops and concerts nationally. Bracha believes that the physical and emotional energy generated by original Italian Bel Canto techniques can be used to release and heal deep physical/emotional blockages held in the body. Bracha received advanced training in psychology and psychotherapy from the University of Vienna. After studying many forms of body/mind healing, Bracha specializes in assisting women in releasing their inner power and joy through deep voice/breath release and movement. Bracha is sensitive to her clients' releasing and processing in a safe, honoring manner and her workshops are noted for their fun and mental/emotional/physical satisfaction.
Ayelet HaShachar The Jewish women’s band, Ayelet HaShachar, features Lisa Aronson Friedman, Shalomis Koffler Weinreb, and Stephanie Rabinowitz performing on piano, guitar and vocals. The trio’s original Jewish music (by women for women) is known for its soul-stirring themes, tight three-part harmonies and melodic guitar and piano arrangements. The band draws on a lifetime’s worth of experience and diverse musical backgrounds…from classical to jazz, folk, musical theatre and Jewish music. Ayelet HaShachar’s songs are known to bring light, strength, joy and comfort to many listeners. The music is a vibrant expression of eternal Jewish themes, resonating with meaning for our times. The band’s first CD is “Ohr Chadash” (www.ayeletmusic.org), and they are currently recording their second CD. Ayelet HaShachar has performed in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Philadelphia, New York, Ramat Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem. The mission of the band’s non-profit organization Ayelet HaShachar Jewish Music Experience, Inc. is to strengthen the connection of women and girls to their Jewish spiritual and cultural heritage through the original music of Ayelet HaShachar.
Baltimore Bows is a children’s string music program dedicated to strengthening families and community through the power and beauty of music in a high quality, nurturing and stimulating setting. Students come together twice weekly for string music instruction and an orchestral experience. Our teachers are conservatory trained, musically active and have years of teaching experience. They nurture the students’ musical abilities and technical foundation while empowering them with the human values of music playing. Ensemble playing and working together harmoniously are emphasized. The children gain valuable skills in their instruments as well as in cooperation, literacy, coordination, artistry, teamwork and more. Baltimore Bows is inclusive of children who for religious or financial reasons would not be able to attend other music programs. In this way, we are better able to achieve our goal of bringing music to every home in our community.
Rebbetzin Chavi Epstein is the Co-Director for Chabad Lubavitch of South Carolina. She is also a renown lecturer, musician, and founder of the Niggun Workshop Seminar. In South Carolina, she works as the director of Columbia's Jewish women's circle programs, as a local community counselor, and as the community “Mikvah lady.”
Stella Filler performs with over 50 years experience of miming. Born in Tangier, Morocco, she spent much of her youth studying and performing ballet, as well as Spanish dance. With time, she moved to Israel and took her dancing talent to the field of mime. As a young adult, she learned with Yoram Boker and performed in Kibbutzim all over Israel. She studied with Fuji at the Theatre de Mime de Paris and with Ella Jaroszewics, the star of the Tomasshevsky Mime and former wife of Marcel Marceau. Other influential teachers of Stella’s were Etienne Decroux and Jean Louis Barrault. Stella reached American Shores in 1974 and promptly began teaching the art of mime. She directed mime performances at Stanford University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, College of Notre Dame, Stanbridge Academy in Palo Alto and the South Peninsula Hebrew Day school. She created her own dance troupe, Pianomime, and performed with them around the Bay Area. It was while deeply in the world of professional mime that Stella began to incorporate Jewish themes into her art, and has now quickly fame as the world’s only “Kosher” Mime.
Deborah Gallant is a New York City-based business coach, dynamic speaker, teacher and workshop facilitator who helps make business topics interesting and valuable. Her lively style, peppered with humor and real-life stories, wins her rave reviews and she has been described as “Carol Burnett with an MBA.” She is a frequent presenter for the Jewish Women Entrepreneurs national and local chapters. Deborah holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Her work background is in advertising and radio and she was an early Internet pioneer and author. Since 2002, Deborah has worked with hundreds of small business owners and service professionals including doctors, attorneys, accountants, coaches and consultants, helping them create thriving, successful enterprises. Her full biography is available on her website www.boldbusinessworks.com.
Miriam Leah Gamliel Originally from Pittsburgh, Miriam Leah Droz studied and performed musical theater until she became observant. In 2006 she began producing work in women-only settings, starting with "A My Name is Alice" at Ohav Tzedek (NY, NY), and working towards ATARA: The Association for Torah & the Arts. Since 2008, she has been producing events for women in music and sending monthly updates on art-related happenings in the religious community. In 2009, ML produced The House on Riverside, a feature film for women. On video she can be seen as Gutele Rothchild in Nishei Players' "Barons & Bankers," the mayor in Malky Giniger's "Changed" and as Grandmama in "Alexandra." Gamliel now lives in Montreal with her husband and baby and is a doctoral candidate at YU's Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education & Administration, and hopes to use her education to help build a Jewish girls' high school for the performing arts.
Robin Garbose (Artistic Director, Director, Acting Teacher), a graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in Theater Arts and English Literature, began her directing career in the theater. In New York and Los Angeles, Robin directed some 40 plays at theaters including: Ensemble Studio Theater, Jewish Repertory Theater, Manhattan Punch Line, the Juilliard Theater Center and the Odyssey Theatre. Her television credits include Head of the Class and America’s Most Wanted, where she directed numerous film re-enactments, helping to apprehend fugitives. Robin co-wrote the screenplay, The Spark, about a Jewish girl’s search for faith, which was selected to participate in the Sundance Institute Writers Lab. Research for this project led to Robin’s own journey of faith, more than 22 years ago, when she became a Baal Teshuva. Her groundbreaking feature films, A Light for Greytowers, The Heart That Sings and Operation Candlelight, intended for audiences of women and girls, have garnered international press acclaim and been official selections at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, and Ashkelon Jewish Eye Film Festival. Robin has served as Artistic Director for Kol Neshama Performing Arts Conservatory, which she founded, since its inception in 2000. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Levi Yitzhaq, and their two children.
Leah Gottfried is an award winning writer, director, producer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating meaningful visual content. She is the creator of the hit comedic web series "Soon By You" which centers on Orthodox Jews dating in NYC. In addition to directing and co-writing the show, Leah has a lot of fun playing the role of talkative Sarah Jacobs. Leah started acting at an early age in various films, commercials and stage productions. She has appeared in Yamaha ATV and Time Warner Cable commercials, the TV show Distant Roads and the feature film Operation: Candlelight. Stage credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs (Nora), Lost in Yonkers (Gert) and The Government Inspector (Anna). At age 17, Leah explored a newfound interest working behind the scenes and wrote and directed her first short film. Since then Leah has produced the feature film Operation: Candlelight, numerous music videos, and "Soon By You." Leah’s short film, "The Setup" won Best Short Film at The Washington Jewish Film Festival 2016. She graduated with a Film Studies degree at Yeshiva University, studied cinematography at NYU and acting at The Actors Circle in Los Angeles. www.dignity-entertainment.com
Miri Gottlieb was raised in a musical home and began studying piano at the age of five. She began her music career as a music counselor and a choir director at a summer camp for girls between her years of high school. While studying in Israel during a gap year, Miri organized and led a choir for the women on her program. She earned a BA in Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and throughout her eight years in New York, Miri taught music to children ages two through high school in several schools in Queens and on Long Island. The highlight of this experience was arranging and directing musical performances and productions. Since moving back to Silver Spring in 1997, Miri has taught music at many of the local Jewish day schools and preschools, most notably at the Torah School of Greater Washington, where she is now in her twentieth year.
Elana Greenspan has released her two debut CD's, the funniest, funkiest Jewish music ever made: "Fully Halachic with a Beat," for women and girls, and "Kidding Around," a kids'/moms' album. Elana performs regularly at the Aishes Chayil Hotel in Monroe, NY, at women's fundraising and tzedaka events, school events, bas mitzvah and children's birthday parties. She is currently directing the 8th grade play at the Bais Yakov of Passaic. In the summer, Elana is the drama director at Camp Dina. Elana is also a playwright whose work has been produced at schools across the country. She pioneered the original Women's Open Mike Night in Jerusalem, which has spawned similar shows just for women across the world. Elana will be giving a full-length concert to officially debut her albums in Passaic, NJ on Sunday, March 18th. Elana lives in Passaic, NJ with her husband and family. Elana is honored to participate in an ATARA performance once again.
Andrea Grinberg Canadian-born international cellist Andrea Grinberg made her soloist debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at age fourteen. Since then she has been a featured soloist with the Wilfrid Laurier University Symphony Orchestra, and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, and has won a number of competitions including the Penderecki Chamber Music Prize and has been the recipient of scholarships from institutions such as Wilfrid Laurier University and the Jerusalem Academy of Music. She has performed with many conductors including Bramwell Tovey, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Bobby McFerrin, and has performed in chamber performances with the Israel Philharmonic players and in festivals internationally. As a teacher, Andrea has taught in Canada, US and Israel. In Chicago, she worked as the director of chamber strings and summer program director of The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras, numbering over 100 inner city kids. Since moving to Baltimore in 2013, Andrea has kept an active private studio, teaches inner-city kids through the Baltimore Talent Education Center, and together with her husband Yonatan Grinberg and violist Sarah Lowenstein founded “The Baltimore Bows,” a unique community string orchestra program for young students.
Amy Guterson is the founder and director of the new Tzohar Seminary for Chassidus and the Arts. The seminary reflects her vision to create a haven for young women who are creatively gifted, a place to study Chassidus intensively and train as artists who will use their G-d given talents to bring light to the world. Amy received her BA from Stern College, Yeshiva University with a major in Theatre and a minor in Fine Arts. She went on to earn her graduate level degree in acting from The New Actors Workshop where she studied with director Mike Nichols and improvisation specialist Paul Sills. She also studied with acclaimed actress and teacher Uta Hagen at the Berghof Studio in NY. Amy was a member of Actor’s Equity, and performed in classical, Yiddish and Jewish theatre Off- Broadway. After moving to Pittsburgh, Amy co-founded the Kol Isha Theatre group which consisted of Jewish women from across the spectrum of Judaism. As Artistic Director for the group, she taught acting and improvisation and directed play development for most of the group’s original productions and workshops (based on issues of Jewish womanhood and Jewish unity/disunity). She has also written and directed some of the group’s full length plays, trigger scenes and workshops. Mrs. Guterson wrote, directed and produced the award winning film “Becoming Rachel”, which premiered at the Pittsburgh Jewish/Israeli Film Festival and was screened at festivals across the country and Israel, where it won first prize. For sixteen years, she has been a member of Pittsburgh Playback Theatre , a therapeutic form of theatre which “plays back” its audience’s stories and feelings through improvisation. She has conceived, directed and edited many creative, narrative videos for Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, as well as taught acting and directed numerous theatrical productions for the Yeshiva Girls’ High School. She is a board member for ATARA: the Arts and Torah Association for Religious Artists, and has taught master acting and play development classes at their conferences.
Polina Imas is the director of Kinor Center, Chicago IL. Polina began playing the violin when she was six, she studied at the Music Institute of Chicago and pursued a double major in music performance and engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston IL. She is a recipient of Winnetka Music Club Scholarship, Bel Canto Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Society of American Musicians awards. While observing an Orff music class Polina noticed how naturally children absorb information presented in a musical context which led her to explore music education as a means of helping children develop language, literacy, focus and group participation skills. With this goal in mind she started Kinor Center to serve the Jewish community of Chicagoland. Since then, Polina has designed and directed fine arts programs at several Chicago Jewish day schools, where she taught Suzuki Violin, choir and Music Literacy classes based on Orff, Kodaly and Eurhythmics approaches. As a part of Kinor center's effort to use Jewish music as a basis for music education, she worked with Chicagoland musical professionals to develop music curriculums for a variety of instruments as well as group music literacy classes based entirely on Jewish musical material.
Franciska Kay is a composer, singer, and performer. She creates her masterpieces by weaving eternal words of prayer into soulful guitar melodies. Raised in religious school and in musical academy, Kay’s compositions reflect her commitment to bridging both worlds. Franciska started playing the piano at six years old. She began composing after she mastered the guitar at the young age of twelve. While studying in high school, she toured in the US and Europe with the musical ensemble Ilanit. Kay earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Touro College, while attending Juilliard School at night. Currently, Franciska works on her music production, and teaches students guitar. She recently produced her fourth solo album titled "Libi Bamizrach" and is already working on the next one.
Jamie Eisenberg Katz is co-chair of the firm’s Business and Commercial Transactions group and a member of the firm’s Sports Franchise and Media Rights Law group. Ms. Katz has represented business and its owners across various industries on life-cycle issues from entity formation stage, navigation of operational arrangements and contracts during its growth. Notable arts representations: as counsel to entertainment related enterprises, Katz has handled transactional and contractual legal matters affecting all aspects of the entertainment industry, such as advertising and media, radio and telecast broadcasting agreements, intellectual property licensing agreements and trademark matters, employment and talent agreements.
Leslie Ginsparg Klein is the founder and director of Girls’ Night On!, an organization that promotes Jewish women in music and the arts. She was inspired to pick up the guitar after going to a women’s open mike night in Israel and started singing/songwriting a few years after that. From 9-5, Leslie serves as the academic dean of Maalot Baltimore, researches the history of Orthodox women’s education, and lectures across the country.
Fraidel Leah Kletter Until age 16 Fraidel Leah was fully self-taught in piano and composition. She gave her first public performance at the age of 14, performing the first movement of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Livingston High School Orchestra. At Rutgers University, Fraidel Leah studied with the late Jan Gorbaty and gave many performances. Although she pursued a law degree, piano study has always been an integral part of Fraidel Leah's life. Her teachers have included the late Pong Hi Park (a student of Leon Fleischer) and the concert pianist Rita Shklar. Going to Israel, Fraidel Leah pursued an alternative legal career of researching and writing for Westlaw, which provided her with the time to pursue serious music studies. Upon her return from Israel, Fraidel Leah spent a year and a summer in intensive study of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a method of teaching music and expression through movement. She then completed the 2-year Professional Piano Pedagogy Certificate Program at Westminster Choir College. At the suggestion of professors and colleagues, Fraidel Leah successfully auditioned for a Masters in Music in Piano Performance in New York City and is planning to commence studies in the fall.
Giliah Litwack is a Maryland artist and poet who uses bold lines and vigorous color to tell stories, usually executed in ink and watercolor. She often uses both words and images to complement each other and convey an emotion, tell a tale, or express a spiritual longing. Working in a variety of two-and three-dimensional media to create paintings, drawings, jewelry, and fiber arts, she feels that her Jewish faith permeates all of her creativity. She has an Etsy shop, has done a variety of commissions, and shown in New York and other American cities. Her work is in private collections in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Israel. Giliah.com http://www.etsy.com/people/GiliahLitwack
Esther Leah Marchette is a singer, songwriter and former cantor who has been involved with music from a young age. She holds a B.A. in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music in Boston, which included studies in classical and contemporary composition, lyric writing, advanced music theory, jazz and rock arranging. Esther Leah plays piano, guitar and percussion. In high school and college, she performed in musical theatre productions, sang in choirs and ensemble groups and directed an a cappella singing group at Yale University. In her early 20s, she worked as a cantor for a number of years until making the transition to embracing a Chassidic way of life. Since that time, Esther Leah occasionally performs for women as well as leading classes and workshops in Jewish Spirituality. Currently Esther Leah works as the manager of a software company, organizes events and classes as co-director of the Boston Breslov Connection, and raises her children with her husband in Boston, MA. She is a Co-Director of ATARA.
Lisie Michel is a freelance ballet dancer in Boston. After a several-year hiatus from performing, Lisie was thrilled to return to the stage upon finding a ballet company that would accommodate a shomer shabbat dancer. Her most recent performance was in the Urban Nutcracker, where she danced the leading role of Sugar Plum Fairy. Lisie attended Walnut Hill School, a high school for the arts, where she majored in ballet. She also trained in summer intensives at Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Chautauqua Ballet. In addition to ballet, Lisie enjoys training in the circus arts disciplines of partner acrobatics, contortion, and aerial silks. Lisie has
collaborated with visual artists, photographers, and musicians, and is always seeking out new interdisciplinary arts projects. Lisie earned her BS and MS in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University and currently works as a Software Engineer at Google.
Shoshana Michel Classically trained, Shoshana started playing piano at the age of seven and professionally at seventeen. She has a musical repertoire that spans a variety of genres and has performed at venues including Knott's Berry Farm, The Olde Town Mall and The Galleria at South Bay in Southern California. The positive responses of listeners, moved by her soulful renditions of Chabad Nigunim, encouraged her to record her debut piano solo album, Soul Whispers in 2015, which earned nominations for Best Solo Piano Album by SoloPiano.com and Best Debut Artist by Enlightened Piano Radio. She debuted as a composer when she recorded her second album, Dancing on the Wind, in 2016. Dancing on the Wind has earned nominations in 2016 for Whisperings Piano Solo Album of the Year, SoloPiano.com Piano Solo Album of the Year and has qualified for a nomination for Piano Solo Album of the Year by Zone Music Reporter. Described as a "Jewish Yiruma," Shoshana's playing soothes, inspires, delights and touches the soul. Her music can be heard on Pandora, The Spa Channel, Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, SoloPiano.com, Enlightened Piano Radio, One World Music Radio, Sleep Radio, AccuRadio, Spotify and many other online stations. Shoshana is currently working on her next album of her own compositions to be released, Iy"H, this September. She can be contacted at: http://shoshanamusic.com/
Tzirel Mitzman was born into a musical family. Tzirel began singing and writing poetry as a young child, leading naturally into songwriting. She began performing her own original music over 20 years ago. At first, her performances were small and local as she was raising her large family. Tzirel’s style is a captivating mixture reminiscent of Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell. She is a musician on a mission to help bring the beautiful and essential life tools of emunah to women through song and has created “A Musical Journey in Emunah.” Her easy and warm rapport with her audiences helps her seamlessly teach the tools of emunah and faith to a wide range of women.
Esther Newman received her Master’s degree in Flute Performance from Northwestern University School of Music and her B.A. in Music from the Oberlin Conservatory. She has specialized in Baroque performance practice on the 17th century wooden flute and recorders, appearing on the faculty concerts at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin and for three summers at the Festival of Baroque music in Saratoga Springs, New York. In addition to these credits, she was also on the faculty of North Park College in Chicago for two years before her move to the west coast and she has performed in a variety of chamber music concerts in Chicago, Los Angeles & Baltimore. Esther is the co-founder and manager of The Baltimore Women's Orchestra.
Michelle Penn grew up dancing since age three. During high school, she performed in the Fort Lauderdale Children's Ballet Theater, dancing soloist and principal roles such as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and the evil stepsister in Cinderella. Michelle attended Northwestern University where she majored in Dance and Human Development and Psychological Services. She was fascinated by the connection of the two: the role arts can play on personal development, particularly in children. In her senior year, Michelle began to explore her Judaism. Upon graduation, she attended Neve Yerushalayim as an Abraham Scholar. While there, she founded the Neve Dance Company, which performed for over 2,000 women over the period of two years. Upon marrying and moving to Silver Spring, Michelle founded La Zooz Dance, a dance school which serves the artistic needs of girls in the Orthodox Jewish community. She has since taught over 150 students and has produced three shows which has touched and inspired nearly 600 attendees. The most recent, “Of Miracles, Music and Motion” primarily featured adult women in the community, many of whom had not had opportunities to perform since high school.
Abby Pines After taking private voice lessons for 2 years, Abby attended Montgomery College as a Classical Vocal major. Two years later, she attended the University of Miami and switched her major to Jazz Vocal. On a summer break from school, Abby auditioned as a singer to perform on a cruise ship. Her summer job ended up lasting almost two years, taking her from Mexico to Alaska, from Australia to Brazil, and many places in between. It was during her time on the high seas that Abby started becoming interested in Yiddishkeit. Ironically, the first Halacha she learned about was Kol Isha. After speaking with Rabbi Kalman Winter, ZT’L, Abby was not to be deterred and continued her learning while working on the cruise ships. After two years, she decided it was time to go to Israel and studied at Neve Yerushalayim. While learning in Israel, Abby worked in a recording studio and made a couple of tapes. She performed with an all female group in Israel, Tofa'ah, as well as performing with Kineret and Julia Bloom in New York.
Elisheva Raichman was born and raised in Houston, TX where she started dancing ballet at age 6, and hasn't stopped since! Throughout her teen years, she was determined to find as many opportunities as she could for frum female dancers. Among those, she performed at Atara's first two conferences in 2008 and 2009 and then joined Rachel Factor's company in Jerusalem. Elisheva and her husband currently run a successful photography business and have two adorable children. She now dances an array of dance styles including hip hop, modern, and contemporary at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center and Hunter Dance Studio.
Shari Rosen, Soprano, earned her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1991. While attending the Peabody, Shari performed numerous operatic roles with the Opera Theater and Workshop programs, as well as soloing with the Peabody Symphony and Peabody/Hopkins Chorus and winning first prize in Peabody's Sylvia Green Voice Competition. A native of Long Island, NY, Shari returned to her home state for three summers during her college years as a recipient of a full scholarship to the School of Voice at the Chautauqua Institution. After her college years, Shari sang as a soloist and chorister in synagogues, leading to a career as a Cantorial Soloist for Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Temple Beth Israel in York, PA, and Congregation Shalom Aleichem in Columbia, MD. Having made a personal, spiritual journey to Orthodox Judaism, she now sings solely for women (and her husband!). Most recently, Shari has turned her passion for singing towards teaching voice as well as public speaking, and is available to tutor students even via phone!
Leslie (Gold) Ruder After spending 10 years stage managing, casting, and producing plays off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the U.S., the acting bug finally, and nearly fatally, bit Leslie Gold. She trained with many acting schools, including the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. While pursuing her Oscar in LA, a love of Torah usurped his place in her heart, B.H., and she left the lure of L.A. for the beauty of Yerushalayim. Leslie had the z'chus to study at She'arim College of Jewish Studies for Women for the better part of five years. In Eretz Yisrael, she taught acting to women of all ages and backgrounds. Favorite roles include Ariel in The Tempest, and Genendel in Isaac Bashevis Singer's Teibele and Her Demon. A "specialist" in improvisational interactive theatre, she originated the roles of the Bar Mitzvah boy's mother in Bernie's Bar Mitzvah, and the mother of the kallah in A Match Made in Manhattan. She is most grateful to Ha Kadosh Boruch Hu for allowing her to improvise the roles of wife and mother of five real children. Leslie is a published playwright, and is currently teaching acting workshops and private coaching and is now developing and performing her one-woman show “Out of Her Head,” while obtaining free psychotherapy from her audiences.
Rivky Saxon is 16 years old, been singing before I could speak, and have been taking voice training for the past six years with Jamie Fair, founder of East End Performing Arts. I sing everything from Opera to Country, and Rock to Rap. I am the youngest of five children, and when I’m not singing you can find me scuba diving, getting driving hours, or practicing martial arts. I hope to make Aliyah after seminary and have no idea what I want to do after that, ‘cause hey, I’m only 16 :)
Devra Aviva Seidel is a classical pianist, actor, singer and musical director. Favorite roles include Rosemary in How to Succeed in Business without really trying, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Anne Frank in A Diary of Anne Frank and Elizabeth Lavenza in Eric Sirota’s ‘Day of Wrath’ with Emerging Artists Theatre. Devra recently appeared as a ‘Challah Mom’ in an instructional video for a Challah bake in New York, sang in an original duo cabaret at The Metropolitan Room and with The Gallery Players production of Gypsy. Ms. Seidel is currently the musical director for Kids Company Showcase with the West Side YMCA in Manhattan, teaches Glee at Manhattan School for Children and is an active accompanist and chamber musician. Devra has a Bachelors’ of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters’ of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.
Rivki Silver began studying piano at the age of seven and clarinet at ten. She received her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from Truman State University in 2003, where she was principle clarinet of the Orchestra and Wind Symphony, and also studied flute, jazz, and composition. She is very grateful to have had opportunities over the years to play in a variety of different settings, from orchestras to rock bands to accompanying high school productions and siddur plays. She was a member of the Cleveland woman’s band In Harmony for over three years, where she wrote and arranged music, and played flute, clarinet and saxophone. When she briefly lived in Baltimore she was a member of the Chesapeake Concert Band and, later, the Baltimore Women’s Orchestra. After returning to Cleveland, she was a fellow in the 2016 Cleveland Jewish Arts and Culture Lab where she created a stop-motion video that she also wrote and recorded the soundtrack for. She is currently principle clarinet of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra. In addition to performing and composing, she enjoys teaching piano and, occasionally, clarinet. Rivki lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children.
Dr. Mark Singer, DMA, received his Master’s Degree in Music from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he was concertmaster of the orchestra and a violin student of Berl Senofsky. Dr. Singer was a member of the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra and the Maryland Symphony. As founder and principal violinist of the Columbia String Quartet, the Aura Nova Ensemble, and the Tizmoret Trio, he has performed in chamber music concerts throughout the eastern United States. In 2005, Dr. Singer was a Pearlstone Foundation Scholar and Lecturer. In 2010, he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland and was a recipient of a University of Maryland Career Grant. In 2015, Dr. Singer directed and performed in a series of concerts at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts entitled, From Darkness into Light, which was sponsored by the Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust. Besides conducting the Baltimore Women’s Orchestra, Dr. Singer is adjunct professor of strings at Morgan State University where he leads the Morgan Chamber Ensemble and teaches violin, viola, and string methods. He is also the founder and director of Tizmoret Shoshana Summer Music and Arts Workshop.
Andrea Sokol-Albert Commended in the British and American press as an "exciting musician of tremendous depth", pianist Andrea Sokol-Albert has performed extensively as recital/concerto soloist and collaborative artist. Solo appearances include the Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), two appearances on the Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago Cultural Center), and the Manchester Mid-day Recital Series (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, England). Concerto appearances in the United States include the National Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center) and broadcasts include National Public Radio. Dr. Sokol-Albert is currently a contributing faculty member in piano at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Hannah Stern has been singing, dancing, and acting since before she can remember. She grew up in Agoura Hills, California amidst a very musical family. Hannah attributes almost everything she knows about singing and acting to her mother - a classically trained singer and actress, who's passion for musical theatre was infused within her daughter. Hannah trained in California for 10 years in many dance styles, with a focus on ballet and modern dance. She now lives with her husband in Far Rockaway, and works as the dance director for Malky Giniger's Ratzon Program, and as a graphic artist for Binah Magazine.
Elena Tal made her debut at the Victoria International Festival in British Columbia, where she studied voice with her first teacher, Gaelyne Gabora. She studied opera with Carol Mastrodomenico at Tufts University, and has performed both nationally and internationally, at venues including the Italian International Music Festival Centro Studi Italiani, aboard England’s QE2, and as a soloist with the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic Orchestra and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. She has performed on tour throughout the United States in solo recitals at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (AL), the Marcus JCC (TN), the Paramount Theater (TN), the Annapolis Music Festival (MD), and the Heifetz International Music Institute (NH). Her opera roles include Pamina in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Juliette in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” Fraulein Silberklang in Mozart’s “Impresario,” and Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.” She was the “Voice of Space” in The Voyager Spacecraft Documentary for A&E Television Networks, and made her movie debut in a Hollywood film, with award-winning movie star Patrick Swayze, in which she plays a young opera student. Now exclusively sharing her gift of voice with women around the world through concerts, recitals and lectures, and with a master’s degree in Vocal Performance with Carmen Balthrop from the University of Maryland College Park School of Music, Elena Tal heads the Tal Voice Studio of Baltimore, open to all voice types. She regularly gives Voice master classes and workshops at Shira Girls Talent Camp, Tizmoret Shoshana, and ATARA Association for Torah and the Arts. She is also on the faculty of Bais Yaakov of Baltimore, where she teaches Voice classes. Elena Tal resides in Baltimore with her husband and four children. For more information, please visit Mrs. Tal’s website: www.elenatal.wix.com/elenatal
Dahlia Topolosky, is wife and mother, musician and psychologist, and Rebbetzin of Beth Joshua Congregation in Rockville, MD. Dahlia is a licensed psychologist, with a doctorate from the combined school-clinical program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Dahlia also enjoys singing, playing guitar, and dumbek drums. She has led concerts and kumzitzes for women and appreciates any opportunity to share Jewish mystical teachings and soulful melodies. Dahlia has started “Mommy and Me” Jewish music and movement groups for parents and children, and in 2007, produced her first album called Kol Nearim (Voice of Children), sold in Jewish stores or online at www.cdbaby.com. Along with her career commitments and community involvement, Dahlia places family first, spending time with her husband Rabbi Uri Topolosky and their four children: Elyon, Itai, Adi, and Liat. She hopes that their home is always known to be an open and warm place where everyone feels welcome.
Devorah Zonenberg is a passionate singer, and native Baltimorean, who returned in 2003 to Baltimore after living in LA for six years and having three beautiful children. It was a dream of mine to become a singer and connect with people in a meaningful way on a grandeur level. In addition to being professionally trained by a professor in college, I was exposed to a culture of artists in L. A. which gave me the confidence to come here and perform in a way I had only dreamed about. Since that time, I have done three concerts here as benefit concerts and formed a musical group called Shiras Devorah which actually performed at this stage. I am grateful to combine my love of people and music together with a career in social work. I work full time as a social worker in the Baltimore City Public Schools. I am delighted to be part of this event.